15th January, 2017
President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Sunday in Abuja led government officials and service chiefs to lay wreaths in honour of Nigerian soldiers who died in active service.
Apart from the wreaths laying ceremony, the President used the opportunity to make video conference calls to Nigerian troops in the battle fields in Sambisa Forest, Yola in Adamawa and to those serving in UN Peace Mission in Liberia.
The President, who first spoke to the Nigerian troops fighting the Boko Haram insurgents in Sambisa Forest in Borno, saluted their courage and urged them to continue to maintain discipline and efficiency they were known for.
He said “your success was received spontaneously by all Nigerians. I congratulate you and I thank you very much for the honour you have done to the country and to us, well done. I wish your families are all well and are getting in touch with you.
“Please maintain the standard of discipline and efficiency. Thank you very much indeed.’’
Also addressing members of the Nigerian battalion serving with the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Liberia, President Buhari, who congratulated the soldiers, wished them a successful mission abroad.
The President, who commended members of the armed forces serving with the UN across the world, said the Federal Government was monitoring their performance.
He prayed for their successful operations while in Liberia, and also wished them safe journey back to Nigeria in 2018.
Nigerian troops in Liberia will be the last batch of UN Peacekeeping Mission in that country as UN peace mission in Liberia would end in 2018.
President Buhari also spoke via the video conference gadgets with the Commander of the Air Force Base in Yola, Air Commodore Charles Owoh, who is also the Air Commander, Operation, Lafiya Dole.
The president lauded the performance of the Air Force in the ongoing fight against insurgency in the North East.
He said: “I get regular briefing from your Chief of Air Staff. Your performance speaks for itself and you have raised the morale of your colleagues in the military, especially the army.
“With your hi-tech performance and platforms, we have been able to restore the sanity and the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
“I am very pleased with the initiative that you have taken in maintenance of equipment. It is very encouraging and a boost to our morale here. I congratulate you and please pass my message to your families that we are very cautious of their patience and anxiety whenever you are in the field. Thank you very much indeed.
Other dignitaries who performed the wreaths laying ceremony at the event include Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, acting Chief Judge of the Federation and Justice Walter Samuel Onoghen.
Others are the Minister of Defence, Retired Brig. Mansur Dan-Ali, service chiefs, Chairman of the Nigerian Legion, Retired Maj. Mikah Gaya, members of the diplomatic corps and other prominent citizens.
Special prayers were also offered in honour of the fallen heroes.